Review: Junior Eurovision 2021

It all about 19!
The 19th edition of “Junior Eurovision” will be held on Sunday – 19th of December 2021.
19 countries will take part in the contest this time.

In this post, I will review the competing songs.

#1. Pauline – Imagine Us (Germany)

The song’s title carries the slogan of Junior Eurovision 2021.
It is an adult contemporary pop song.
The general vibe reminded me of Christmas songs in some parts.
The song starts with backing vocalists singing “Imagine Us” and then we can hear the beat that builds the song. The first part is performed in German and English.
The chorus is catchy, but also very basic at it relies on one phrase.
Pauline uses facial expressions to show her excitement.
It’s a positive song whose message can be explained as “save the planet” or just come together as humans and manage to solve our problems together.
In my opinion, it is a sweet song that can be described as a typical Junior Eurovision song for good and bad.

#2. Niko Kajaia – Let’s Count The Smiles (Georgia)

It’s a “broadway”- jazz pop song.
The song starts with a repipritve keyboard playing alongside some digital sound effects.
Niko opens the song by speaking – singing that has a light weight which fits the song.
Afterwards, the song has a prominent style of 1980’s disco – dance music.
The chorus is performed partly in French.
Pre-chorus includes trumpet playing alongside humming.
keyboard playing from the introduction, continues to the second verse and at this point, the verse is catchier and has a noticeable rhythm, compared to the previous one.
Towards the middle, some wind instruments become more dominant, and as the digital sound effects come back, we can hear the French language again.
Towards the end, there is a short instrumental part that precedes singing in high tone alongside trumpet playing. I feel that Niko had the potential to bring more vocals wisely, but somehow the song limits him. The song is cute, catchy and different than the others in the line-up.
I wonder how contemporary it will be for children.

#3. Sara James – Somebody (Poland)

It’s a modern mid-tempo pop-soul song
Sara starts the song with a soft and fragile voice. She sings it with self-confidence, while managing to change her voice in different boxes and heights. Judging by her singing, it seems like she has done it for many years. The melody is based on keyboards and guitar.
The chorus is catchy and modern. Sara sings the challenging parts with virtuosity.
In some of the parts, we can hear backing vocalists which give the song another color with their low voice.
The song lives between being festive and being a radio-hit. This is what makes it catchy, special and interesting

#4. Ike & Kaya – My Home (Malta)

It’s a power ballad with some rap parts.
The song opens with a music box’s melody. The girl starts singing the first verse and it sounds like a part of Disney’s power ballad. The first verse has a slow rate, which lets the lead singer show several layers of her voice.
The chorus is performed with more power and higher octave.
The second verse is a rap section which I find disconnected from the previous parts of the song.
The rap part is accompanied by keyboards playing and a light beat. Thereafter, we get another occurrence of the chorus, but this time it is joined by the rap singing.
As the song lasts, the lead singer uses a higher version tune of her voice in the modulation.
Once again, the rap part presents. The song ends with fragile singing of the lead singer that is finalized by rap singing.
Personally, I think the song could have more potential, but the rap part just decreases its chance. From the music perspective, I can’t see why combining rap into a power ballad is a good idea.
The girl has good vocal abilities, but unfortunately it disappears in the whole mess.

#5. Elisabetta Lizza – Specchio / Mirror On The Wall (Italy)


It’s a mid-tempo rock song.
The song starts with electric guitar playing. A few seconds later, Elisabetta enters the song with a little bit of “tough” singing, that suits the song. We can hear drums playing as well.
The rate of the first verse is quite fast, as the aim of it is to give us the truth of the spokesperson in the song and emphasize why it should be done intensively.
The chorus lets the singer show more colors of her voice. It is slower and sounds more like a ballad until it explodes towards the end of it. The chorus melody is based on guitar and piano.
The second verse reminds the first one, but it has the addition of backing vocalists who sing the work “specchio”. Once again, the chorus arrives, but this time with some English words in the lyrics.
This time, she gives us even more vocally. Afterwards, there is a bridge that includes an electric guitar and bass. The bridge ends with a short instrumental part of bass guitar solo.
The chorus returns once again and sounds more powerful.
I think it is one of the best songs in the line-up. It doesn’t try to be a typical Junior Eurovision song. With some minor changes, I would have even imagined it competing in Eurovision.
Elisabetta is a wonderful singer with a sophisticated attitude.
There’s a strong match between the singer and the song.
I must admit: having a rock song in Junior Eurovision is so exciting!

#6. Denislava & Martin – Voice Of Love (Bulgaria)

It’s a Disney ballad.
The song starts with some recorded digital sounds and keyboards playing.
Martin opens the song with a soft and fragile voice that reaches some to an impressive height.
The melody is gentle and wraps the singing like a gift wrapping. The melody itself is quite basic and predictable but it suits the simplicity the song should deliver.
Denislava has a stable voice which hints at maturity and self-confidence, she enters the song after Martin. For her part the octabe of the song changes a little bit, we can hear flute playing as well.
The pre-chorus is cheasy, and maybe too cheasy with the words – “ла ла любов е моят глас”.
The chorus is performed in English and somehow it makes the song flatty.
The style of the song turns into a choir song. We get some good harmonies from the 2 of them.
Afterwards, they sing in high octave. One of them is the secondary voice for the other.
It isn’t a bad song, but it relies on plenty of cliches. I would appreciate it more if it was fully in the Bulgarian language.

#7. Tanya Mezhentseva – Mon Ami (Russia)

It’s a pop song with Latin and Eastern-ethnic influences.
The song starts with keyboards playing. At the beginning we can hear a weak beat that becomes stronger, as the song continues. The song transforms from “middle of the road pop” to midtempo-pop with some Latin vibes. In the pre-chorus, she uses some high notes that are used as a build-up to the chorus itself.
The chorus is uplifting, romantic and rhythmic. Still, Tanya keeps her charm and softness.
The chorus has a uniform structure that’s built on short measures.
Afterwards, we hear some ethnic beats alongside string instruments.
The second verse is similar to the first one but more rhythmic. Right after this, she sings in English.
Once again, we get the ethnic elements.
The song changes from its bridge to a sensitive ballad where she shows her vocal abilities.
To sum up, the song is sweet and has some childish vibe but in a good way.
I think it is a catchy song, but somehow lacking the wow factor

#8. Maiú Levi Lawlor – Saor (Eng: Disappear) (Ireland)

It’s an upbeat pop rock song with influences of the 2000’s music.
The song starts with keyboards playing that is joined by electric guitar playing.
As the chorus arrives, the song becomes more rhythmic and energetic.
The chorus relies on drums and guitar playing.
Maiú manages to combine his vocals well with the melody. He doesn’t shout, but can be heard between all the instruments.
The second verse is more energetic. Afterwards, a second chorus arrives and continues the line of the song. As the second chorus ends, there’s a pause in the melody.
The beat of the song is reduced to a more modest one. You can hear the singing of Anna Kearney (who represented Ireland at Junior Eurovision 2019). Her anagelic and clear voice adds another layer to the song. Slowly, Maiú joins again with electric guitar playing.
The song isn’t modern, and it even sounds like a pop-rock song from 20 years ago.
However, there is something refreshing in the singer’s interpretation.
I find the song uplifting and catchy.

#9. Maléna – Qami, Qami / Wind, Wind (Armenia)

It’s a myctical pop soul ballad with mid-tempo production.
The song starts with Maléna’s beautiful vocal decorations.
You can hear fading backing vocals in the background that are perfectly blended in the melody.
The melody is composed of gentle guitar and keyboard playing, with a strong digital production.
The lyrics combine Armenian and English together, not in a particular order and it is part of the magic.
The chorus starts with the words “Qami, Qami”. It is not a coincidence that the melody makes you move in a very similar way to the dancing in the video-clip. This is what will help the viewers to identify themselves with the singer and the song.
The second verse is much more rhythmic, but it still keeps the mystory and darkness the song should deliver.
The chorus is short but effective, between the lines we can hear the beautiful color of her voice.
The bridge is performed in English and has a faster rate.
Right after it, the singer uses her powerful voice as the backing vocalists sing the main part of the chorus.
In my opinion, the production has been done professionally.
I have no idea how it would have given us a better product.
The song gives me winning vibes, it stands out between other songs.
I love the fact that the song isn’t intended for Junior Eurovision only, it had the right of existence everywhere: radio, Junior Eurovision, TV/Cinema soundtrack and more.
Let me with that we will see her representing Armenia at Eurovision 4-5 years from now.

#10. Alinur Khamzin & Beknur Zhanibekuly – Ертегі әлемі / Fairy World (Kazakhstan)

It’s a power ballad with rap parts.
The song starts with piano playing and pre-recorded vocals that are blended into the production.
Alinur is the first one to sing. He uses a lot of air and softness and his singing. The first verse is quite slow, although we can hear some percussions in the background.
The chorus is powerful and after it we can hear the backing vocals from the introduction.
The second chorus is performed in French by Beknur. He sings it in rap style, which I find disconnected from the main structure of the song.
Afterwards, both of them sing the pre-chorus together in 2 different languages and 2 different styles.
Alinur sings the last chorus alone and he gives us the maximum with his beautiful voice.
I think the song could have been improved if Beknur had sung it differently.
The introduction and the bridge are promising, but it is just not enough.
I must admit that this is my least favorite song that Kazakhstean has even sent to Junior Eurovision.


#11. Anna Gjebrea – Stand By You (Albania)

It’s an upbeat pop song.
The song starts with guitar playing. There is a repititive beat that builds the melody of the song.
On one hand, it makes you dance, but it also designs the message of the song.
The first verse is fast and energetic. Her singing can be defined sometimes as light rap.
The chorus relies on 2 different beats: one of them is lighter than the other.
However, the chorus is quite monotonous. However, in the chorus her singing creates more interest.
Afterwards, we get a second verse which is performed in English.
Towards the end, there is a masculine voice which is added as backing vocal.
The lyrics of the last part are in Albanian.
Unfortunately, I don’t think the song is impactful enough to shine. The production is decent, but something sounds like it is unfinished.

#12. Olena Usenko – Vazhil / Lever (Ukraine)

It’s a power ballad.
The song starts with an instrumental part that’s composed by cello and piano.
Olena
starts singing with a low voice and some “soul” vocal decorations.
Thereafter, she sings with more passion, as we can hear some drums alongside the piano.
She uses a higher tone of voice that decays as the chorus ends.
The second verse includes some backing vocals. So, another chorus appears and it is powerful as well. We can hear violin playing that builds the tension and is supported by Olena’s outcry.
The bridge of the song builds around the cello’s playing with a raw production.
Thereafter, the beat gets stronger and Olena gives all of her vocals.
The song ends with one more occurrence of the chorus alongside piano playing.
The song has a powerful message of standing tall and strong against fears from the past.
We should embrace our fears and fight them.
The fact she wrote the song herself makes it even better. Worth mentioning her intelligent interpretation and powerful voice. Well done!

#13. Enzo – Tic Tac (France)

It’s a French entertaining pop song.
The song starts with an uplifting wind instrument playing.
Enzo whispers “Tic Tac” at the beginning. The first verse is catchy and fast. Sometimes his singing sounds more like speaking.
The melody keeps changing between the different parts.
For me, it seems like France adopted a very specific style of songs in Junior Eurovision.
These kind of songs are based on a simple beat and their lyrics are based on 1-2 words that share the same sound (bimbam, tic-tac and more).
As the song ended, I couldn’t remember the majority of it, except for the 2 leading words of the chorus. Nevertheless, Enzo has an amazing stage presence and charisma.

#14. Sona Azizova – One Of Those Days (Azerbaijan)

It’s a lyrical ballad.
The song starts with piano playing. She sings the first verse in English. There is a slow rate, and the main aim is to tell a story. Pre-chorus relies on the lower key of a melody with faster singing that is finalized by some vocal improvisations.
The chorus is powerful and is namely performed in Azerbaijani language. Sona shows off her vocal abilities (and there are so many of them out of this song).
The second verse is performed in a low octave.
Afterwards, the second chorus arrives and it is similar to the first one.
Towards the end we have modulation that puts the chorus in a higher octave. If you ask me, this is the best occurrence of chorus.
With simple chords and a stable voice, it seems she delivers it well.
I must mention that this song should have a convincing staging.

#15. Ayana – Mata Sugu Aō Ne / We’ll see each othe soon (The Netherlands)

It’s a power ballad.
The song starts with a short instrumental part based on keyboards.
She has a pleasant voice and it feels like she tells a story.
The transition between the languages feels smooth and natural.
There’s something more relaxing and hopeful in the chorus.
Towards the end, there is a pause that leads to modulation that is preceded by guitar playing.
I find her interpretation simple but effective. She delivered the message of longing.
Well done!

#16. Levi Díaz – Reír / Laugh (Spain)

It’s a midtempo Latin pop song.
The melody is based on piano, percussion instruments and guitar.
The first verse is built on a minimal beat. As the pre-chorus starts, the singer uses more power in his voice and at this point, the song starts to be more festive. It grabs you and makes you smile and dance, as the lyrics demand. In the chorus we can hear ethnic drums with uplifting sounds in the production. After a short pause, we get additional verse, with percussion instruments.
Levi uses some high short notes which elevate the song.
I think the song ticks V in several different boxes and it does it very well.
The song is uplifting, festive, and has an interesting production.

#17.Jovana and Dunja – Children’s Eyes (Serbia)

The melody is based on sting instruments like violin and cello.
In the beginning, for some reason, they chose to recite instead of singing.
In this part, the melody presents it like a theatrical piece.
They sing the chorus together with some harmonies. The chorus melody is based on a constant beat.
Thereafter, there is an instrumental part that is the longer beat from the introduction. This sound resembles the sound of DJ’s phonograph.
Luckily, the second verse is being performed as a song (and not as a recition).
In the second chorus, the girls sing separately.
Towards the end, they sing with a thin production that’s based on a music box sound.
The song is a little bit dated. It sounds like a song that was created in 1995 – 2002.
The song isn’t bad, but it doesn’t create a strong first impression.

#18. Dajte Muzika – Green Forces  (North Macedonia)


The song starts with an ethnic beat and a choir that sings backing vocals. One of the children opens the song with a voice that has presence. Afterwards, there is the chorus that is performed in English by all of them. It has another part in Macedonian. The part after the chorus is an instrumental section with upbeat vibes. Something in the production and melody reminds me of “Golden Boy(Israel Eurovision 2015) and “Superhero” (Poland, Junior Eurovision 2019).
The second chorus has a more festive atmosphere. Their singing becomes more powerful. It seems like the song has a lot of staging potential. The song talks about saving our planet, which has become one of the main song topics at Junior Eurovision recently. It brings us all together: a catchy beat, language combination and meaningful message

#19. Simão Oliveira – O Rapaz / A boy (Portugal)

It’s an old fashioned ballad.
The melody is based on guitar playing. Simão has a strong with a significant presence.
The rate is slow and there’s something cinematic in the song.
Towards the end, we can hear more acoustic guitar sounds.
The disadvantage is that the song is boring. It is really hard to remember it, besides the start of the chorus. I understand that the child is an experienced singer, but the song doesn’t carry it above water.

Personal Ranking

  1. Armenia
  2. Italy
  3. Ukraine
  4. North Macedonia
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. Poland
  7. Ireland
  8. The Netherlands
  9. Spain
  10. Russia
  11. Georgia
  12. Germany
  13. France
  14. Kazakhstan
  15. Serbia
  16. Malta
  17. Bulgaria
  18. Albania
  19. Portugal

Prediction


I think that one of the following 3 countries will have the highest chance to win:
Armenia, Italy, Poland.

The full playlist can be found on different digital platforms:

YouTube

Spotify

Apple Music

Who’s your personal favorite at Junior Eurovision 2021?
What’s your prediction for the winner?

Doron Lahav is 28 years old guy who lives in Israel. Doron watches Eurovision Song Contest since early 2000s. Doron works as a Data Scientist and also shows interest in singing and writing.

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